A personal "mental printout" A recall pattern has a completely different look from ordinary study notes. In a sense, you might think of recall patterns as being analogous to computer spreadsheets or graphic representations of information. These patterns will allow your mind to generate memorable, highly useful images that are impossible with old-fashioned note-taking.
To illustrate what I mean, I'd like you to consider how some of our students have formulated recall patterns based on written material they were given on the very subject we're now discussing—recall patterns. The written material included a number of items we've already discussed as well as some other points. Here's a sampling of the raw material we supplied:
• A recall pattern is a picture of the written material.
• It makes use of lines, with main and subordinate ideas written on various branches.
• The pattern enables the student to design his own organization of study materials.
• Many students like to use pens or pencils of different colors in drawing a useful, memorable pattern. For example, a pencil may be best for tentative drawings during the overview or preview phase of study; a black pen can then be used for recalls finalized during previewing. Next, you may prefer to switch to red for additions made during reading; blue might be employed in the postview phase.
• The pattern is a method of taking notes quickly and helps encourage greater creativity and the generation of thoughts.
• The pattern should usually be drawn up and filled in while the book is closed. Obviously, the more you know about a subject, the more you can do patterns with the book closed. The more technical or unfamiliar the material, the less you should use the closed-book approach.
• Some major advantages of a recall pattern: It helps condense material; makes it easier to highlight associations between concepts; and provides an overall organization for what's been read.
• A recall pattern can be used in a variety of ways with different types of material. The possibilities include preserving material that's been read; remembering facts and ideas from reading, lectures or other meetings; planning your schedule; and otherwise documenting important information.
Now, here's a typical "slash" recall, which was drawn to record the above information on recall patterns.
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